To more accurately reflect the potential threat of weed species in Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), with feedback from the Canadian seed industry, has prepared the new Weed Seeds Order. It was published May 18 in the Canada Gazette Part II and will come into effect Nov. 1.
The Commercial Seed Analysts Association of Canada has spent a great deal of time preparing our members for the changes. In cooperation with the Seed Science and Technology Section of CFIA in Saskatoon, we organized a train-the-trainers session in May. A group of trainers are rolling out intensive seed identification workshops in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec from June to August.
Some of these species are extremely rare, so we are preparing to recognize them to prevent issues if they should turn up. Many have “look-alike” species that we will study to prevent loss of seed lots for the wrong reasons. Others are commonly found species that have changed class.
Some specific points to think about while preparing for the change:
• There are 35 new additions to the Weed Seeds Order. Seventeen are Class 1 (Prohibited Noxious), 11 are Class 2 (Primary Noxious) and seven are Class 3 (Secondary Noxious).
• Species Removed from Class 3: False Flax (Camelina spp.) and Chicory (Chicorium intybus).
• Species have been reclassified from Prohibited Noxious to Primary Noxious, and from Primary Noxious to Secondary Noxious. This could lead to a higher grade or eligibility of previously tested seed lots for import.
• The addition of field brome, Japanese brome, cheat, downy brome, false baby’s breath, warty bedstraw, and wild parsnip to Secondary Noxious from Other Weed Seeds are changes that will most likely cause a downgrade or ineligibility of lots already tested for import.
• Class 2 will be applicable to all grade tables. Tables XIV and XV were previously exempt.
• Keep in mind there are other species not in the Seeds Act that remain prohibited for import on the List of Pests Regulated by Canada that are less likely to be found in seed lots. An example is bromrape (Orobanche spp.).
Seed analysts are also preparing for the possibility of the need for Reports of Seed Analysis to be reissued, and in some cases retested for purity, to meet the new standards. Seed lots caught in-between might also need to be regraded. It’s important to have a dialogue with your lab to ensure seed reports issued on or before Oct. 31 don’t become invalid on Nov. 1.
For contact information, visit www.seedanalysts.ca.
Morgan Webb, CSAAC vice-president